It's time for the final installment of… Cockblock the Vote!
Heartened by the smooth process of the prior presidential election, officials again decided to entrust the fate of the free world to machines that are only slightly less inscrutable than R2D2. Critics of electronic voting claimed the companies that made them had close ties to the GOP and Religious Right, while advocates for the machines smiled, waved, and won elections. Both supporters and opponents of Senator John Kerry noted his long face on the morning of November 3, 2004, and most other days actually, but some of the supporters claimed that his defeat was due to skullduggery and other, less cool-sounding forms of duggery in Ohio. Although a partial recount did not dent Bush's lead, multiple irregularities were eventually uncovered when the Ohio GOP was brought to heel by an, um, stamp collecting scandal. Not exactly a blowjob from an intern, but good enough for a slow news day. Concerns about electronic voting persist, but advocates shouldn't bother calling tech support, as India has its own problems: similar complaints have been leveled against their e-voting systems, introduced countrywide in 2003.
Tags: Cockblock the Vote, George W. Bush
Voter fraud isn't just for presidential elections. Travel back to 2002 with us now for the next installment of…Cockblock the Vote!
In 2002, the small but ridiculously influential but really kind of a sh*thole for New England except there are a couple of good hiking trails what were we talking about again oh yeah New Hampshire was at the center of a phone bank jamming scandal, in which a Virginia-based consulting firm phone bank jammed the phone banks of the state Democratic Party and the firefighters' union, helping hand the margin of victory to Republican John E. Sununu, edging out then-governess Jeanne Shaheen. The legal briefs flew as the Democrats filed a civil suit; a criminal trial followed, in which four men were found guilty of federal crimes and sentenced to prison, which evidently is not really like the one in the movie "Bad Boys."
Tags: Cockblock the Vote
It's time for the third installment of…Cockblock the Vote! This is one you all might remember…
Our current kettle of fish first started — or was first noticed — on the evening of November 7, 2000, when television news networks reported that future movie star Al Gore had won Florida's 25 electoral votes, then said it was too close to call, then said it was Bush, then said it was too close to call again (nowadays we all rely on the Internet for this sort of thing, which is much more reliable). This led to a series of recounts, with the Gore campaign making the fatal error of only asking to recount the votes of the counties he assumed voted for him, and the Bush campaign using the relatively more successful strategy of having a bunch of their candidate's dad's friends on the Supreme Court. By a vote of 5-4, one of the most controversial in history, the Court ruled that George W. Bush would be our 43rd President, paving the way for a legacy that would include sweeping changes to federal policy, the War in Iraq, and "Lil' Bush," Wednesdays at 10:30p on Comedy Central, check local listings.
Tags: Al Gore, Cockblock the Vote, George W. Bush
Whether it's the daily critiques of electronic voting or the California GOP's plan to governate the Democrats' electoral hopes, the average American can't not read a newspaper these days without ignoring news about electoral fraud. But screwing with the vote is nothing new, as we shall see…
What is it about centennials? Just as 1976 was marred by political disillusionment, terrible hair, and patriotic kitsch, the 1876 presidential election ripped the skanky band-aid off the oozing scabs of the Civil War. Future president Republican Rutherford B. Hayes — running against Democrat Samuel J. Tilden — got his ZZ Top beard in a wad when reports of fraud, bribery, and intimidation surfaced throughout the South. A total of twenty electoral votes were in dispute, mainly in Florida (surprise), Louisiana, and South Carolina, and one in Oregon, of all places (this was not a confused hippie, but a political hack appointed by the state's Democratic governor). This was such a big deal that then-president Ulysses S. Grant sobered up just long enough to have the Army surround DC, ready for trouble that never came.
After months of negotiation, a 15-member commission gave Hayes a victory with a single electoral vote, the whole thing hinging on an 889-vote margin, making it the closest US presidential election in history until 124 years later, when a bunch of elderly Palm Beach Jews decided to break with tradition (and reality) and vote for Pat Buchanan.
Many historians agree that the compromise between Democrats and Republicans marked the transition from Reconstruction to the beginning of The Jim Crow Era — a touchstone in the long, storied, bipartisan tradition of Washington throwing black people to the wolves. Before this, African-American Republicans rose to prominence in much of the south, but The Compromise of 1877 led to the removal of Union troops in exchange for the Dems' backing of Hayes. This allowed Democrats — the Lynyrd Skynyrd concertgoers of their era — to effectively put an end to Reconstruction using such sophisticated techniques as sticks, rocks, rope, and fire.
In addition to good old-fashioned barbarism, these former Confederates used tactics like poll taxes and literacy tests — the latter of which, ironically, their ideological progeny would probably just stare at for a while before rolling them up to snort a line of Oxycontin. This state of affairs lasted until 1965, when Congress passed the Voting Rights Act.
Tags: Cockblock the Vote, Rutherford B. Hayes, Ulysses S. Grant